HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
Ibiza Undead
Wings of Eagles, The
Beats
Body Parts
Shock of the Future, The
Friday
High Life
High Noon
Comes a Horseman
Scandal in Paris, A
Greta
Fight, The
Pink Jungle, The
Skiptrace
Double Date
Mind of Mr. Soames, The
Long Shot
Sherlock Holmes
Amazing Grace
Monitors, The
Memory: The Origins of Alien
Mesa of Lost Women
Banana Splits Movie, The
In Fabric
Sisters Brothers, The
Aniara
Flamingo Kid, The
Queen, The
Avengers: Endgame
Vanishing Act
Critters Attack!
Prison on Fire
Dragged Across Concrete
Do the Right Thing
Hellboy
Pond Life
   
 
Newest Articles
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
Wondrous Women: Supergirl vs Captain Marvel
   
 
  Blood Simple Buy this film here.
Year: 1983
Director: Joel Coen
Stars: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, Samm-Art Williams, M. Emmet Walsh
Genre: Thriller
Rating:  8 (from 5 votes)
Review: It happened one night in 1983. The usual selection of pre-main feature trailers; a guy digging a grave in a field illuminated by headlights; a private investigator blowing smoke rings while spinning a tale of marital infidelity…
Three minutes worth of clips promising murder, intrigue and betrayal. This was my first introduction to the world of the Coen Bros. One week later, I was back to view Blood Simple – their debut feature and, possibly, still their finest hour-and-36.

Here, classic film noir pitches camp in a Texas populated by self-serving characters who guarantee that, whoever comes out on top, good will not triumph! Bar owner Ray (Dan Hedaya) hires private eye Visser (M. Emmet Walsh) to procure photographic evidence of his wife’s affair. Marty (John Getz), a barkeep at Ray’s saloon, becomes one of the targets in a planned double-murder (“I’ve got a job for you. It’s not strictly legal”), but things do not go according to plan as a series of twists and double crosses deliver a white-hot thriller. Abby (Frances McDormand) takes over from her husband and her illicit lover during a terrific final quarter, full of suspense, bloodletting and a tense bout of gunplay which may prompt you to do Dirty Harry-style math on the way to the most wonderful closing line of dialogue and a reprise of the wholly appropriate Four Tops classic.

For a debut feature, this a remarkably assured work, adding some nice comedic touches (Visser’s one-liners, a bungled wife-snatch that anticipates Fargo) to a storyline full of surprises. Quite simply, it’s a joy to see the cast discover information we are already privy to, and then pull the rug from under our feet as Visser moves one step forward and two steps back. Walsh is disgustingly fine as the sleaze-riddled detective, and ably supported by the intense Hedaya (just as scary then as in his memorable turn in Mulholland Drive, some 19 years later) and McDormand who also made her screen debut here, along with her director.

Universal’s DVD presents Blood Simple in its original 1.85:1 ratio, with a nice clean transfer doing full justice to Barry Sonnenfeld’s photography. The presence of an audio commentary track should have served to heighten our knowledge and appreciation of this film but Kenneth Loring (of Forever Young films, apparently) had other ideas. As a send-up on commentaries, Loring is perhaps funny for around five minutes but quickly becomes tedious and remains so (“You may be getting a little bit tired of this lighter by now”). I’m sure folks who spent their hard-earned on this disc would have loved to hear the Coens talk about script development, problems encountered getting their film from story to shooting and casting choices. A pompous viewpoint? Maybe, but surely this film deserves better?
Reviewer: Steve Langton

 

This review has been viewed 4658 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
  Derrick Smith
   

 

Last Updated: